Some of the comments hit home because, from an early age, I have had an extremely tempestuous love life, but I also know it can work if both partners learn to understand each other.
- When Your Loved One Has Borderline Personality Disorder.
- Here’s what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone with Borderline Personality Disorder!
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- Borderline Personality Disorder: What I Wish You Knew.
This is a hard concept to explain to a healthy person, who may have only ever felt something close to this when someone they love passes away, or they lose something they hold dear in their life. People with BPD, even in their happiest periods, experience this pervasive feeling of emptiness almost every day, and often they try and fill this with things that stimulate them.
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Personally, the only thing that gives me true happiness is other people, which is why BPD is a cruel illness — because most people who suffer from it are gregarious, true people lovers, but they struggle to maintain close relationships because of their illness. When you finally meet the person who sets your world on fire, it feels incredible. You want to spend every minute of the day with them because you find them so interesting, so much fun, and so enjoyable to be around. Having such strong emotions make people with BPD incredibly empathetic, and because of this we find it easy to connect with people on an emotional level quickly.
When people pull away for any reason, that part of our illness goes into overdrive and this is where the disorder may get its bad name.
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- What You Need to Know When Dating Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder.
Some studies suggest that there is a genetic component, meaning the disorder can be hereditary. Hostile family environments, childhood abuse and neglect, and separation from caregivers can also increase the risk.
How to Recognize BPD in a Loved One and Improve Your Relationship
Some research indicates BPD can emerge when parts of the brain that help regulate emotions and aggressive impulses are not functioning well. Psychotherapy, otherwise known as talk therapy, can be incredibly valuable for treating BPD. In addition to learning about the signs and symptoms of the disorder, individuals can gain skills for managing difficult emotions, developing and maintaining relationships, reducing impulsive decision-making, and improving daily functioning.
The therapy helps people change unhealthy patterns of behavior by becoming more mindful about the emotions and reactions they are experiencing in the moment. To date there are no drugs approved by the FDA that have been specifically created to treat personality disorders. However, some people find that medications can help reduce anxiety or impulsivity in individuals. These might include antidepressants, mood-stabilizers, and antipsychotic medications.
If an individual with BPD experience intense symptoms, such as self-injury or physically harming others, they may be in need of inpatient treatment at a hospital or other residential program. People with BPD benefit from a home environment that is calm and relaxed. All involved family members including a boyfriend or girlfriend should know not to discuss important issues when the individual is in crisis mode.
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Stop to take a breath yourself when they do become emotionally reactive. People with BPD should have opportunities to talk about their interests and thoughts about the news, family events, and other leisure activities. Take the time to laugh at a funny joke or eat dinner together several times a week. The less an individual feels like his or her mental illness is under the spotlight, the more opportunity they have to explore other aspects of themselves.
Please Don’t Misunderstand Me Because I Have Borderline Personality Disorder
When a loved one becomes reactive, they may become to insult you or make unfair accusations. The natural response is to become defensive and to match the level of reactivity.
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- Passion and Fear in BPD Relationships.
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They struggle to gauge what is a minor issue and what is a full blown catastrophe. They interpret your defensiveness as not being valued. Instead, when they become reactive, take the time to listen without pointing out the flaws in their argument. Try not to take it personally. If the person does point out something you could improve or have done wrong, acknowledge their point, apologize, and suggest a way you can improve on the matter in the future.
A crisis is escalating if a person with BPD begins to threaten to harm themselves.
Sometimes self-harm signs may be less overt, such as scratching the skin, eating less, coloring or shaving off hair, or isolating from others. Recognizing early signs can help prevent an emotional crisis from becoming more serious or requiring medical or psychiatric attention. Instead, you invite the individual to talk about their emotions and allow yourself to gauge whether professional assistance is necessary.
All threats of suicide should be taken seriously.